فصل 13

مجموعه: کتاب های متوسط / کتاب: 2001 - اودیسه فضایی / فصل 13

کتاب های متوسط

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فصل 13

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN

The Slow Dawn

The main building was only six meters square, and it was now very overcrowded. In this double-walled space, six scientists and technicians lived, worked and slept.

Floyd and Dr Michaels each put on a spacesuit and walked into the airlock. As the noise of the pumps died away, Floyd felt himself move into silence. The sound of his suit radio was a welcome interruption.

‘Pressure OK, Dr Floyd?’ said Michaels. ‘Are you breathing normally?’

‘Yes, I’m fine.’

The outside door opened and, walking slowly, Floyd followed Michaels through the lock. He looked around and, without warning, the tip of the radio tower above his head seemed to catch fire as the rising Sun touched it.

They waited while the Base Commander and two of his assistants came through the airlock, then walked slowly towards the crater. It was still in shadow, but the lights all around lit it up brightly. As Floyd walked down the slope, he felt a sense of helplessness. Here, at the gate of the Earth, was a mystery that might never be solved.

His thoughts were interrupted by his suit radio.

‘Base Commander speaking. Could you all form a line? We’d like to take a few photos. Dr Floyd, will you stand in the middle - Dr Michaels - thank you…’

Though it seemed funny at first, Floyd had to admit that he was glad somebody had brought a camera. It would be a historic photo, and he hoped his face could be seen through the helmet of his suit.

‘Thanks, gentlemen,’ said the photographer. ‘We’ll ask the technical staff at the Base to send you copies.’

Then Floyd turned his full attention to the black object - walking slowly round it, examining it from every side. He did not expect to find anything, because he knew that every square centimeter had already been looked at very closely.

Suddenly the Sun lifted itself over the edge of the crater and shone on the flat side of the object. But the object seemed to take in all of the light and reflect nothing. Floyd decided to try a simple experiment. He stood between the object and the Sun, and looked for his own shadow on the smooth black sheet. There was nothing to be seen. He thought of the amount of heat that was falling on that surface; if there was anything inside, it would be rapidly cooking.

For a moment he wondered about energy from the Sun. But who would be crazy enough to bury a sun-powered object six meters underground?

Floyd looked up at the Earth. Only a few of the six billion people there knew of this discovery. How would the world react to the news when it was finally broadcast?

In fact every person of real intelligence would find his life, his values, his ideas, changed a little. Even if nothing was ever discovered about TMA-1, Man would know that he was not alone in the Universe.

Floyd was still thinking about this when his helmet speaker suddenly gave out a high electronic scream. While he was trying to find the sound control, four more of the screams struck his ears. Then there was silence.

All around the crater, figures were standing in shocked surprise. So there is nothing wrong with my equipment, Floyd told himself; everyone heard those sounds.

After three million years of darkness, TMA-1 had greeted dawn on the Moon.

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